Our challenges

East Lothian Council is facing challenges. Rising demand for, and cost of, services and reductions in overall central government funding means doing more with less.

  • cuts in funding and pressures to increase spending mean that the council has to achieve £15.571m in planned efficiencies in order to balance the 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 budgets
  • East Lothian has one of the fastest rates of growth in population in Scotland from 104,000 to over 120,000 by 2037 – about 1,000 a year
  • the number of people aged 75 year or over will double, as will the number of people with dementia, meaning a big rise in care services for elderly people with dementia
  • the number of children 0-15 years old will grow by over 15%, so we need one new secondary school, at least two new primary schools and extensions to many of our schools
  • a large amount of the funding being used to balance next year’s budget is non-recurring (both national funding from the government, and use of reserves).  This means that  over the next three years, the council will need to find significant savings from within its budgets in order to meet ongoing pressures and demands
  • external pressures including current inflation levels, rising costs of living and increasing demand for council services mean that it will not be possible to balance the budget in future years through increases in Council Tax alone
  • we also need to be able to support communities to recover from Covid-19, address wider challenges including Climate Change and ensure that the priorities set out in the Council Plan are met